Up until Jalen Saunders fielded the punt at his own 10-yard-line, the day had gone Iowa State's way. The Cyclones were up, 10-3, and the second half was winding down.
And then the ball dropped into Saunders' hands, and it was over, just like that. The speedy wide receiver slipped three four tackles and raced down the sideline for a touchdown of 90 yards, evening the score before halftime.
All of Iowa State's momentum seemingly disappeared in a flash. The second half played out the way the oddsmakers thought it would, the game effectively over with OU quarterback Trevor Knight's 56-yard touchdown run, the third scoring run of 50-plus yards for the Sooners, to put them up, 34-10.
The final score — 48-10 — drops the Cyclones to 1-9, giving them two more chances, Kansas and at West Virginia, to pick up their first conference win of the year.
Grant Rohach and Sam Richardson tag-teamed the Oklahoma defense the first few series, Richardson keeping an option fake and scoring from four yards out to break the scoring seal in the second quarter. A hard-running Aaron Wimberly, and a passing gameplan keying on Quenton Bundrage and E.J. Bibbs, had the Cyclones primed for a tremendous upset (they entered the game as 24-point underdogs).
Buoyed by backup quarterback Trevor Knight — starter Blake Bell was knocked out early in the game — the Sooners gashed Iowa State for 394 yards rushing, several players trying their hand at a Cyclones defense that played slow and out of position as the game wore on.
Damien Williams, who'd finish with 128 yards, had a 69-yard touchdown run to make it 17-10 two plays into the second half.
After a Michael Hunnicut 32-yard field goal, Brennan Clay capped another quick scoring drive, scampering 63 yards.
"Offensively we got the run game going and executed better," OU coach Bob Stoops said.
Knight, who imitated Johnny Manziel on the scout team as the Sooners prepared for Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl last season, broke several tackles and maintained his balance on his 56-yard run 10 seconds into the fourth quarter.
The redshirt freshman finished 8-for-14 with 61 yards through the air and added 123 rushing yards on 10 carries. Bell was 2-for-5 with one rush of five yards.
The Cyclones regressed dramatically after the break. They began the second half going three-and-out, punted twice more, then fumbled.
The Sooners were on quarterback No. 3, Kendall Thompson, midway through the fourth quarter.
Rohach finished with a passing line of 21-for-33, 179 yards, two interceptions and was sacked five times for a loss of 28 yards, three coming on third down. OU's blitz got to Iowa State's offensive line, but too often Rohach held onto the ball for no reason, or stretched a negative play out to the sideline, a curious problem he's had since his first career game against Baylor.
Rohach completed over 60 percent of his short and intermediate passes (10 yards or less) and went 3-for-7 in attempts 10 yards or longer.
A bruised thumb limited Richardson for the second straight week; he completed one of two passes for nine yards and rushed thrice for 11 yards and the touchdown.
Bundrage caught six passes for 66 yards on nine targets; Bibbs was targeted seven and had five receptions for 34 yards.
Wimberly led the Cyclones with 50 yards rushing, though DeVondrick Nealy was close behind (48) while averaging twice the output (eight yards a carry).
The Cyclones host Kansas next Saturday at 7 p.m.